It’s day six of the NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 and we have the first four matches of the second round. The winner of the tournament will face Tetsuya Naito for both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at NJPW Dominion on July 12 (in front of a crowd!).
Match 1: Yoshi-Hashi vs. Bushi
Bushi came out in an airbrushed skeleton suit with a tie, a cross necklace and wearing a helmet, with a red glowing light on one eye. This was a lot of costume to take off before his match but he stripped down to a white T-shirt during Yoshi-Hashi’s entrance.
I mention this only because Yoshi-Hashi was not afforded the same courtesy as Bushi attacked him before he even had time to take his big green coat off.
Bushi then took off his T-shirt to strangle Yoshi-Hashi before he was knocked down and Yoshi-Hashi could take off his coat.
These two fought a very aggressive match on day 6 of NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 which got off to an exciting start but did drag a bit in the middle.
In the end, Yoshi-Hashi managed to trap Bushi in the Butterfly Lock before he hit the ropes for a break. But after Bushi managed to escape a suplex attempt and get a roll-up, Yoshi-Hashi recovered to hit Karma for the three count to make it to the quarterfinals of the NJPW New Japan Cup 2020.
Grade: C It was a good match to kick things off on day 6 of NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 but I wasn’t jumping out of my seat
Match 2: SHO vs. Sanada
Next up, it’s SHO (who I guess is Gedo’s favorite Roppongi 3K member). I haven’t had a chance yet to comment on Sanada’s beard, so let me state I’m glad he cleaned that up in lockdown.
SHO had a lot to prove here and boy did he know it. The match started off with some chain wrestling and even went into a test of strength.
This was SHO proving he IS a heavyweight and can hang with the big boys.
Sanada spent some time working SHO’s knee on the outside and had some dirty tricks up his sleeve (never trust those LIJ boys no matter how much they draw you in).
This basically descended into a hoss match and it was great.
While SHO was able to match Sanada, he wasn’t able to finish him off. In the end, Sanada got the Skull End applied and a submission victory on day 6 of NJPW New Japan Cup 2020.
Grade: B SHO had a great SHOwing on day 6 of NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 and proved he can hang with the big boys.
Match 3: Kota Ibushi vs. Taichi
On Twitter, Chris Charlton said: “Taichi had some... very special motivation from Miho Abe.” I can only guess what that means.
This was a real battle between good and evil. If you ever want to be a real heel, just beat up Kota Ibushi and you’ll get easy heat.
With a lack of Bullet Club in the NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, Suzuki-gun are bringing the shenanigans. Zack Sabre Jr was out in Taichi’s corner but daddy Tanahashi came to even the odds.
The two fought on the outside with ZSJ interfering where he could. At one point, Taichi tried to strangle Ibushi with some cables.
As usual, Ibushi took a lot of bumps and stiff shots to the neck and he looked like he was hurting. Ibushi managed to nail Taichi with a package tombstone but it wasn’t enough.
Taichi then whipped him into the referee, who took a great bump to the outside, allowing ZSJ to run in.
Tanahashi them came in like a hero to fight ZSJ off but while the two then brawled outside in the ring, Ibushi was left vulnerable and Taichi took the opportunity to hit him with the Iron Finger then the Black Mephisto for the win at NJPW New Japan Cup 2020.
Grade B: Good solid match on day 6 of NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, poor Ibushi is really is the most put-upon babyface but Taichi’s time is now.
Match 4: Hirooki Goto vs. EVIL
I must admit I find Goto to be pretty boring and I feel like EVIL would agree with me.
After making his entrance and disrobing, EVIL waited outside the ring for Goto as he didn’t want to waste any time.
The pair started off with hard strikes on the outside as EVIL really took it to Goto. But when things got back inside the ring, Goto got the advantage.
As they went to the outside again, EVIL really lived up to his name as he trapped Goto’s neck in a chair and threw him into the post.
Size and style-wise these two are a perfect match for each other and in a way, EVIL even looks like Goto’s teenage son who’s become emo because his dad just doesn’t understand him.
In the end, EVIL shoved Goto into the referee (evil move) and landed a clothesline. Then with the ref still out, EVIL stomped Goto in the groin (an even more evil move).
He then hit the Everything is Evil for the win and a place in the quarter-finals of the NJPW New Japan Cup 2020.
Grade B: EVIL being as evil as possible is acceptable in a match against Goto.Published 01 Jul 2020, 20:46 IST